KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Senate Dems Launch Counterattack On Koch Brothers

Charles and David Koch have underwritten millions of dollars' worth of ads criticizing Democratic candidates on the federal health law and their ties to President Barack Obama. Meanwhile, The Washington Post's fact checker gives one of those ads claiming a cancer patient had lost her "wonderful doctor" three Pinocchios.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Senate Democrats Aim Ire At Rich, Obscure Brothers
Democratic Senate candidates, facing withering criticism on the national health care law, are gambling they can turn voters against two billionaire brothers funding the attacks — even if few Americans would recognize the pair on the street. In an accelerating counteroffensive stretching from the Senate chamber to Alaska, Democrats are denouncing Charles and David Koch, the key figures behind millions of dollars in conservative TV ads hammering Democratic candidates and their ties to President Barack Obama (3/10).

The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker Update: Julie Boonstra’s Claim Her Obamacare Plan Is ‘Unaffordable’ Gets Downgraded To Three Pinocchios
The problem with the original ad was two-fold. First, Boonstra, a cancer patient, suggested she had lost her “wonderful doctor” when in fact she could keep that doctor in the new plan. Second, her premiums were cut in half, from $1,100 a month to $571, and the savings were slightly more than the out-of-pocket costs permitted under the health care law. So it seemed highly suspicious that the costs were “unaffordable” (Kessler, 3/11).

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